don’t just train—Train with a purpose

by Mary Monroe on Jan 01, 2012

At the IDEA 2012 IDEA Personal Trainer Institute™, learn the latest on how to target your training for phenomenal results.

What makes one trainer’s business flourish and another’s fade? Call it the “X” factor, the “It” factor, the “Wow” factor—what it comes down to is the client experience. Humdrum doesn’t cut it in a crowded market. However, exceed people’s expectations, give them something to talk about—and word spreads.

This year’s event theme, “Training With a Purpose,” means throwing out one-size-fits-all tactics and targeting every client session for the most powerful impact possible, whether the goal is to rehabilitate an injury, elevate athletic performance, advance daily functionality or improve health and fitness measures. Find out all the latest programming, equipment and business ideas from the world’s leading personal training professionals at the 2012 IDEA Personal Trainer Institute, February 16–19, 2012, in Alexandria, Virginia.

“This conference attracts the top names in training and has sold out for 3 years in a row,” says Aprile Peishel, MA, IDEA’s director of event programming. “We can accommodate more people this year, but it is still likely to sell out fast. Personal training is a very dynamic field right now, and there are so many new techniques, programs and types of equipment coming out. At the IDEA Personal Trainer Institute, you can get it all in one place and network with industry leaders. There really isn’t anything like it for personal trainers who want to be at the top of their game.”

With a satisfaction rating of over 98%, the IDEA Personal Trainer Institute is the world’s most in-depth, diverse, cutting-edge educational program exclusively for trainers. The 2012 conference features these highlights:

  • 97 educational sessions—20% more than in 2011—covering the newest information on critical research, groundbreaking training techniques, hot new program ideas, professional and business trends, equipment debuts and career-building ideas.
  • 50 presenters, representing the top industry names and companies around the globe, with lots of networking opportunities
  • hands-on, personalized educational setting with no more than 90 participants per session
  • more effective, comprehensive, in-depth training—with most sessions lasting 2–3 hours
  • 68 sessions that are brand-new to the IDEA program
  • 3 preconference workshops offering the most advanced specialty training in the industry
  • the chance to earn 20 CECs—more with preconference sessions
  • Friday Night Networking Happy Hour, an occasion for networking with other fitness professionals from around the country
5 Top Focus Areas

The IDEA Personal Trainer Institute is an annual showcase for the equipment, programs and education at the forefront of the field. Trainers who want to get the best results for their clients need to take advantage of all the tools available to them, says Todd Durkin, MA, presenter and author of The Impact! Body Plan (Rodale 2010). “Using a variety of techniques and tools is more important than ever to keep a competitive edge and get results.”

The diverse, comprehensive program at the 2012 IDEA Personal Trainer Institute will feature five key areas of focus:

1. Equipment-specific training. “Technology in our industry has become both more simple and more advanced,” says Durkin. “It can allow for more dynamic movement, give us greater use of the overload principle to create better compositional changes in the body, and increase workout efficiency. I like to focus on using body weight first and progress to equipment. I love using equipment-based training as part of the toolbox. It adds diversity and helps keep clients mentally focused and physically challenged.”

Durkin notes that fixed, heavy pieces of equipment used to dominate fitness, but today there is a wider variety of lighter and more portable options. “We’ve gotten away from machines that limit us,” he says. “Now equipment allows for a much more dynamic training environment with a variety of movements and planes, and allows for more time efficiency—it has followed the trend of the industry.”

Choose from a broad range of equipment-based sessions featuring alternative functional equipment, including kettlebells, clubbells and power ropes, and take a first look at brand-new equipment, including the TRX® Rip™ Trainer, Power System’s Fit on a Rope®, the Mega™ Medicine Ball and many other items.

2. Expanded nutrition sessions. The nutrition program has been increased to provide education on effective nutrition coaching, one of the top 10 programming trends that emerged in the 2011 IDEA Fitness Programs & Equipment Trends report. Sessions will explore how attendees can effectively help clients to follow the rules, transform their bodies, understand dietary supplements and speed recovery.

John Berardi, PhD, presenter and adjunct professor at Eastern Michigan University and the University of Texas, says, “The latest research is very clear: exercise alone doesn’t work for body transformation. I know that sounds shocking, but it’s 100% true. Our clients come to us because they want us to help them improve their lives in measurable ways, particularly in the body transformation realm. Truly, without actually sitting down and talking nutrition with our clients, we’ll never be able to help them make the changes they’re looking for.”

3. Business and professional development. This popular category has also been expanded this year and will feature more ideas and tips from the world’s most successful trainers. Topics include avoiding common mistakes, driving revenue from top program trends, improving your business culture and using social media effectively.

Nicki Anderson, presenter and owner of Reality Fitness Studio, says, “Traditionally, the fitness field—other than the large chains—has not been taken seriously in the business community. But more people than ever before are going into this area, and business and professional development areas are crucial. In today’s world of ‘Lose weight fast!’ too many fitness professionals are compromising their businesses by pushing ideas such as ‘Lose 20 pounds in 20 days.’ We’ll discuss how you can defy that and maintain a relationship with other medical and fitness professionals as the best way to take your business to the next level successfully.”

4. Performance and sports conditioning. This is a hot area of training right now, and sessions will include metabolic conditioning, rotational and planar training, vertical core training, sport-specific drills, the latest research on high-intensity cardiovascular and resistance training, and body weight leverage training.

Brett Klika, presenter and director of athletic performance at Fitness Quest 10, says, “Athletic injury prevention is probably the fastest-emerging field of interest in sports performance training. In addition to athletes, the diverse demographics of clients seeking personal training today require a deeper toolbox of exercises and programs to stay motivated and successful. Whether you’re working with youngsters or general-population ‘weekend warriors,’ creating results in a positive, engaging environment should be the primary focus of your program. To achieve this, you must train with intensity, passion and, most of all, purpose. Every program, every exercise, every piece of advice you offer should focus on getting your clients to their goals. At the conference, we’ll look at how to create a training plan and environment for kids, weekend warriors and full-time athletes that build success in their physical, mental and emotional lives.”

5. Injury prevention and recovery. More than 15 sessions will focus on helping clients avoid and recover from pain and injury; cutting-edge techniques in fascial training; self-myofascial release; assessment; and corrective exercise.

“With more older adults in fitness, trainers see more people with joint issues, replacements or orthopedic issues or who are on multiple medications,” says Sue Hitzmann, MS, presenter and creator of the M.E.L.T. Method®. “Functional training is not always able to achieve the benefits we need with these clients—and may enhance compensatory patterns rather than eliminate them. Using hands-off bodywork developed through manual therapy methods of self-care, trainers can advance their potential to help clients live an active, healthy, pain-free life.”

Fitness Journal, Volume 9, Issue 1

Find the Perfect Job

More jobs, more applicants and more visits than any other fitness industry job board.

© 2012 by IDEA Health & Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.

About the Author

Mary Monroe

Mary Monroe IDEA Author/Presenter

Mary Monroe is a freelance writer in the Los Angeles area.